|Mark of Kingship|
About 980 years ago, when King Sundara Chola was ruling Chola Kingdom there was no other royal power in South to challenge him. The power of the Cholas was steadily rising as they expanded their territories and improved economy and trade. Prior to Sundara Chola's reign, his uncle Gandarathidathevar (Prince Madhuranthakan's father) ruled the Chola kingdom. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and was not interested in waging wars. Taking advantage of the situation, the Pandya king who was in hiding tried to win back his kingdom, with the help of the Sri Lankan king. Sundara Chola rallied the Chola troops and crushed their revolution and sent the Pandya king back into hiding.
After restoring order in the Pandya kingdom, the generals and commanders wanted to teach a lesson to the Elangai king, Mahindan, whose support had enabled the Pandya King to rise again and again. Sundara Chola decided to send Kodumbalur Illaya Vellar (Vanathi's father) as a commander of the troops to Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately for Kodumbalur Illaya Vellar, the Chola army arrived in batches and he had to lead a small batch towards the capital. Due to the lesser number of soldiers and limited resources, the the Chola army was defeated and Kodumbalur Illaya Vellar died bravely of grave wounds.
Learning about the defeat of the Chola army in Sri Lanka, the Pandya King who was in hiding, came out in open and started rallying an army again. But this time, he paid a terrible price for rising against the Cholas. It was Sundara Chola's eldest son Aditya Karikalan who led the army, and he won the war by beheading the Pandya king, thus earning the title - The slayer of Veera Pandiyan.
Despite these victories, the Elangai king still supported the Pandya dynasty and continued to be hostile towards the Cholas . Sundara Chola decided to send his army again, to teach him a lesson. There arose a big argument among the prominent commanders and generals in the Chola kingdom, as to who should lead the army against Eezham.
Prince Aditya Karikalan was at war with the Rashtrakutas in the border therefore Sundara Chola's youngest son Prince Arulmozhivarmar, came forward and expressed his wish to lead the army to Eelangai.